I don't like where this is heading at all so far. The plan he's lieing forth is going to waste time and cause the Blazers to overpay for Batum.
This all started on draft night. We should have taken Barnes at #6 and let Batum walk. Barnes has a much higher upside. We then should have figured out a trade scenario for Kyle Lowry, as he's going to get dealt at some point this summer. With his age in line with LMA's, and his talent bordering on All-Star, that would have made the most sense for a "retool". Meyers Leonard and Will Barton are the only moves I've liked so far. They fit nicely for long term plans.
With the savings of letting Batum walk, we could have then gone after a reasonable contract with OJ Mayo for our starting two. We also would have enough room to possibly get Hawes or Kaman to keep the seat warm for Leonard. Negotiating and getting verbals from UFA's would be a lot better then wasting time throwing max deals at guys we know are going to get matched by their current teams.
With these moves were looking at a lineup of talent that mirrors IND or MEM. Good, young, solid core teams that with time to gel together can make that step towards a contender.
LMA/ maybe Hickson/ Freeland
Now we're stuck with a rookie PG from the Big Sky who they are going to throw into the fire. I like Lillard, I just think he's a huge gamble. If he turns out to be more Bayless or the slew of other other combo guards playing PG who have failed, then this is going to set the team back a ton and force a total rebuild. Lowry gives you a proven commodity who's showing he's about to take his game up a level. He could be had for a reasonable price in trade too, as Houston is going with Dragic. They have little to no leverage in a Lowry deal anymore. We should have capitalized on that. I just don't have the faith that Lillard is the "franchise PG" Olshey is crowning him as. I hope I'm wrong, but I'm highly skeptical now. It's going to take Brian Shaw as HC and Andre Miller as backup mentor for Lillard to pan out IMHO. We'll see if that happens.
The Batum situation is about to be a huge mess. Like the Bonnie Situation in Pulp Fiction, instead of Marvin's brains all over the car, it's going to be our cap space blown and wasted on an timid, inconsistent Euro who should be in the 8-9 mil range. But no, because we don't have anyone on the roster to step into a starting 3, we're going to have to shell out 11-12.5 for this guy, to continue to underachieve to his lofty "potential." Or let him walk and have to turn to Ilyasova, and hope there's a shot there. After that, there are no impact 3's on the FA market, and you have little to no assets to trade for a Deng/Iggy. Drafting Barnes would have made it easy to say "Peace Out" in french, and allowed a Mayo/Hawes signing.
Now onto Hibbert. Are you kidding me? Next to Eric Gordon, this is the biggest waste of time and will set us back pursuing other truly available FAs. Do you think Pritchard is going to allow this to happen? To be the guy who drafted Oden for POR, only to allow his replacement be snatched from his control in IND? NO WAY!. He's a rare talent in size and skill in this league. You don't let those guys go. Indiana was letting the market dictate what he was worth. Now they'll yawn, look at their watch and ask, "is it July 11th yet?" Once they match, what's next? Hope that Hawes or Kaman haven't already agreed to deals while your cap space is tied up in this Hibbert deal. I'm sure IND will stretch it to the full three days too, thereby handcuffing our moves on everything else.
Olshey is a smooth talker, and a smart guy. It's great that they are rolling the dice or swinging for the fences (insert other cliche), but I think there could have been a better, more balanced plan with my suggested moves above. I wish I was more optimistic, but we're in for a looooooooong rebuilding process.